Structure of Higher Education System
Higher education is provided by universities, polytechnics and, at non-university level, institutos técnicos superiores and tecnologicos. All universities, whether public or private, are autonomous.
Stages of studies
University level first stage
Tercer nivel - Grado
The first stage of long-cycle higher education lasts for a period of four and a half to six years. Depending on the subject and the type of institution. It leads to the award of the Licenciatura after four and 1/2 years, or to a professional qualification after five to six years (Arquitecto, Ingeniero, Doctor, etc.).
University level second stage
Cuarto nivel - Postgrado
Some institutions offer postgraduate specialized courses leading to the qualification of Maestría after one and a half to two years’ further study. Especialista programmes are mainly offered in Health and Medicine and require a minimum of 9 months’ study. Some universities offer the Doctorado.